Travel Tax Exemption and Duty Free Privileges

Travel Tax Exemption

The following individuals are required by the Philippine Government to pay the Travel Tax  every time they depart the country for an overseas destination:

(a)  Filipino citizens

(b)  Permanent resident aliens

(c)  Permanent resident aliens

The following Filipino citizens are exempted from the payment of Travel Tax pursuant to Sec. 2 of PD 1183, as amended:

(a)  Filipino overseas contract workers.

(b)  Filipino permanent residents abroad whose stay or visit in the Philippines is less than one year.

(c)  Infants (2 years and below).

Also exempted are foreign diplomatic representatives in the Philippines, United Nations employees, US military personnel, international carrier crew, Philippine foreign service personnel (i.e., officials and employees of the Philippine Government who are assigned in Philippine foreign service posts and who are returning to their country of assignment), Philippine government employees (who are on official travel), bona fide students on scholarships and personnel of multinational companies.

Non-immigrant aliens, who have not stayed in the Philippines for more than a year, is exempted from the Travel Tax.

For more information on travel tax exemption, read this  or contact the Philippines’ Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) here 


Duty and Tax Free Privileges

Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP)  as amended by Executive Order No. 206 provides duty and tax free privileges to the following individuals, the extent of which depends on their particular status:

(1)  Returning Resident.  A Returning Resident is a Filipino national who had gone abroad and is now returning.  Only those Returning Residents who have uninterrupted stay abroad of at least six (6) months prior to their return to the Philippines are entitled to duty and tax-free privileges.

(2)  Overseas Contract Workers (OCW).  An OCW is a Filipino national who is working in a foreign country under an employment contract.  Only OCWs who have uninterrupted stay abroad for at least six (6) months are entitled to duty and tax-free privileges.

(3)  Former Filipino.  A former Filipino national is one who has acquired foreign citizens abroad and is now returning.  Only former Filipinos who are coming to settle permanently in the Philippines and have stayed abroad for six (6) months are entitled to the duty and tax exemption privileges.


What is the extent of duty and tax-free privileges of returning Filipinos or Balikbayans?

The extent varies as follows:

(1) Returning Resident – Personal effects and household goods used by him and abroad for at least six (6) months and the dutiable value of which is not more than Ten Thousand Pesos (PhP10,000.00) are exempt from duties and taxes. Any amount in excess of PhP10,000.00 is subject to fifty percent (50%) duty for the first PhP10,000.00 exemption across the board as provided for under Section 105 (F) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.

(2) Overseas Contract Worker (OCW) – in addition to the privileges granted to Returning Residents as described above, an OCW may be allowed to bring in, duty and tax free Ten Thousand Pesos (PhP10,000.00) worth of used home appliances provided:

  • The quantity is limited to one of each kind.
  • The privilege has not been enjoyed previously during the calendar year which must be declared under oath by the owner.
  • The owner’s passport is presented at the port/airport of entry.
  •  Any amount in excess of PhP10,000.00 will be subject to taxes and duties.

Are family members of returning residents, OCW and former Filipinos also entitled to certain privileges?

Yes, provided they themselves satisfy the specifications outlined in Section 105 of TCCP.

What are the conditions and limitations attached to tax exemption privileges?

The following are the conditions imposed in availing of the duty and tax privileges:

(1)  The Bureau of Customs must be presented with a written endorsement from the relevant government agency
(2) The goods extended duty and tax-free privileges are not to be sold, bartered nor traded
(3) The quantity is not commercial.

(4) The goods are not prohibited importations. Goods that are restricted or prohibited require endorsement from the proper regulatory agency.

For more information on duty and tax free privileges, contact the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs